Christie says Corzine was ‘not forthright’ in budget address

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie said today that Gov. Corzine was being disingenuous by saying in his budget address that he cut state spending.

“I think in a number of ways the Governor’s budget was not forthright with the people of NJ in the way he laid it out last week,” Christie said in a conference call with reporters this afternoon.

Christie argued that spending actually increased from last year when you take into account the $2.2 billion in federal stimulus money that’s included in the budget for fiscal year 2010 – that actual spending is not the touted $29.84 billion, but $32.04 billion.

Moreover, Christie said, the Governor’s claimed budget cuts are really just using the stimulus money instead of state money, along with $900 million in pension deferrals.

“Making a pension deferral a cut is like getting the electric bill, throwing it in a desk drawer and saying I cut my household expenses,” he said.

With both houses of the state legislature in session this afternoon, Christie called on lawmakers to reject Corzine’s proposed eliminate of the property tax deduction on state income taxes and the scaling back of property tax rebates.

Christie argued that families making $75,000 will pay $1,500 to $2,000 more under Corzine’s proposals.

“He’s willing to let them make sacrifices, but he hasn’t done one thing to reduce the size and scope of government. That’s what I would do,” Christie said.

Christie says Corzine was ‘not forthright’ in budget address